This soup typically calls for meatballs made with beef and pork. The recipe below uses only ground turkey for the meatballs. There are also parsnips, red chard, celery, leeks, onion and loads of fresh herbs. Initially the red chard will will turn your soup pink but dont despair it will dissipate! I found some baby red chard but you can use full grown chard as well.
I also use fresh chicken broth made the day prior. It is a thicker in texture than store bought due to the extra collagen from the stock. This is a sign of a good broth full of amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
Two ingredients that I always add to my chicken based soups are Trader Joes umami spice and a scoop of Organic Better than Bouillon. Whenever you taste your soup has and your wondering what you need add to have that finished flavor- these do the trick. I also add a parmesan rind into most of my soups to drive home that umami flavor.
If you are looking for a soup to cosy up to during a rainy day, look no further. This soup is chock full of micro and macro nutrients and it is delicious. There are a few steps due to the homemade meatballs but once that is out of the way you are home free, just a little chopping and dicing to do for your veggies. It will be worth it. I fried the meatballs here in a little bit of olive oil however I typically bake them, which honestly is easier, just toss the meatballs in the oven for 10-15 minutes on 375 degrees and forget about them. It just depends on your mood and how much time you have. I am terrible at frying to be honest but I wanted to give it a solid try and the meatballs turned out quite good! If you bake them they will be a little bit drier but since the meatballs go into the soup it does not matter.
2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped basil
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 c olive oil, + more if needed
64 ounces chicken stock or bone broth
32 ounces water
1 bunch finely chopped swiss chard
1/2 large parsnip, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 leek, diced
1/4 onion, diced
4 crushed garlic cloves
2 teaspoons Trader Joes Umami seasoning
1 heaping teaspoon Organic Better than Bouillon Chicken , you can add more to taste if you prefer but it is strong
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup dry acini de pepe
1/2 cup parmesan + the rind, or more, if you like!
2/3 of the meatballs you fried or baked earlier!
1/3 cup olive oil
Add all of the ingredients under meatballs to a large bowl and mix well.
Roll the meat into small 3/4 inch balls
You can either bake or fry the meatballs I have done both. Baking is easier but frying is slightly more flavorful.
To fry; cover a frying pan with olive oil, heat on medium low. once hot, add the meatballs. Make sure to leave enough room in your pan so you can roll them around with a spatula and cook them evenly. Each batch will take about 7 minutes. In my frying pan I ended up with 5 batches of tiny meatballs.
To bake; Preheat oven to 375 degrees and cook meatballs around 13 minutes.
* Regardless of the method you choose test your largest meatball after they are done cooking to make sure it is cooked all the way through. There should be no pink!
Set meatballs aside.
Dice all the veggies and herbs under the soup ingredients, #3-7.
Heat up a dutch oven or large soup pot and cover the bottom with olive oil.
Reserving the chard for last, add your veggies, stirring often.
After 5-7 minutes add the chard, stirring for 1-2 minutes.
Add broth, water, bouillon, umami seasoning and parmesan rind if you have one.
Bring soup to a boil and add the acini de pepe. Boil for 4 minutes.
Add the meatballs and continue to boil for 2 minutes.
Let simmer for a few minutes, add salt and pepper to taste and top with fresh basil and lots of parmesan!
Soup is very adjustable. If you want more liquid, add water and some bouillon or more chicken broth. If you want to add different vegetables, or more veggies, give it try! Too make this particular soup even healthier substitute acini de pepe with 1 cup of barley!